Wow! At 38 weeks pregnant, you may have only 2 more weeks to go until you finally get to meet your little one! If you haven’t already done so, you should use this week for preparing for your hospital stay. Whatever you imagine you’ll need at the hospital is what you should pack. This is no time to leave something behind only to find out later you can’t live without it! Try to maintain a calm and patient mindset as you prep for the labor and delivery. If you have any questions at all, researching the topic, talking to other moms, and asking your healthcare provider are all simple ways to put your mind at ease. At this stage of the game, no question is a stupid question.
Your baby is packing on the pounds! At 38 weeks pregnant, your belly may be staying the same, but your baby is growing enormous! Compared to the pea-sized creature she was just a few short months ago, your baby is a giant this week! Weighing in around 6 pounds and measuring around 19 to 20 inches, your baby is getting that much closer to leaving the comfort of your womb. All of the things she’s been focusing on for these past few weeks will be tested to determine an apgar score between the minute and 5 minutes following her birth. The score assigns 0-2 points for each of five categories: color, respiration, heartbeat, muscle tone, and reflexes, resulting in a score between 0 and 10 with 10 being perfect. Although some parents get crazy about the apgar score, keep in mind that your baby will be in good hands in the perfect place in any case.
Luckily, at 38 weeks pregnant, most women report that their belly feels as though it’s stopped growing. With much less pressure growing outward, you may be feeling intense pressure in your vaginal and rectal areas. With the baby’s growth and position changing in preparation for the actual birth, maintaining a comfortable position may be close to impossible after long periods of time. If possible, continue walking and exercising, and if the pressure or pain becomes overwhelming, feel free to contact your health care provider – they’ve been asked all of your questions before. As long as you’re spending this time getting yourself as well prepared as you can be, you’re doing the right thing.
As each week goes by and you get closer to the day that you’ll meet the little one you’ve dreamt of day in and day out for the past 10 months, you may be getting anxious. With all of the questions, concerns, anxieties, and fears you may have about the labor, delivery, birth, and any times following into parenthood, be open to asking others. All of your feelings and emotions have been experienced by almost every expectant parent, so don’t feel alone. Educating yourself as much as possible about anything on your mind is the best remedy for nervousness. Take the time to take care of yourself and put your mind at ease. All will go as planned, even if it’s not your plan. Stay calm, stay focused, and enjoy these last days of your pregnancy. 38 weeks pregnant: 38 down, 2 to go! Hang in there!